JACKSON, Wyo. — Valley bookstore is changing hands at the end of the month. After 44 years of owning and operating the store, Steve and Anne Ashley are retiring and will hand the store over at the end of the month to Wendy and David Dodson. Wendy will take over as General Manager.
The store will be closed for the month of November for the move to 140 E Broadway, the current location of Teton Kids, across from Persephone.
Both couples are longtime locals, Wendy had been wanting to become a bookseller for years, but had no interest in going into competition with the Ashleys. “Independent booksellers need to stick together. I was only going into business if I could do it with Steve and Anne’s blessing,” said Wendy.
When asked why she wanted to operate a bookstore, Wendy said, “If everyone was a reader, I think the world would be a better place and I want to make my mark in achieving that.” Wendy plans to expand the selection of books, especially in the areas of local authors, regional books, and a much larger children’s section. “A great bookstore should reflect our community including our great heritage, our appreciation for our environment, and our literary community. I want our customers to feel a connection with the authors when they roam the shelves.”
Wendy also plans to expand literary events, bringing in authors from outside of the area. “A great bookstore is not just a place to buy a book, it should be part of the fabric of the community. In the larger space, we’ll be able to attract great speakers and contribute to Jackson in a way that goes beyond just selling books.” Wendy said the biggest challenge she faces is, “Reminding locals that they can buy the same book, for the same price, from a local business and it comes with a smile and a thank you. We are dedicated to this amazing community and look forward to nurturing it with this bookstore.”
With retirement around the corner, Steve will have plenty of time for reading, He said, “I am tired of paying attention to the latest and greatest, I look forward to going back and rereading David James Duncan and Charles Dickens.”